Donna Leon Films Available on DVD
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Commissario Brunetti
 (Donna Leon)

   (Andrea Camilleri)
Young Montalbano
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 (Original Series)

The Vanishing of Pató


Commissario Manara
Donna Detective
Cesare Mori
Giovanni Falcone
Borsellino-57 Days
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 (Valerio Varesi)
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 (Carlo Lucarelli)
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 (RAI Trade)
Inspector Vivaldi
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Aurelio Zen
 (Michael Dibdin)
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Capo dei Capi
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Il Commissario Guido Brunetti
Based on the Donna Leon Novels

Set in Venice, (17 Episodes described below)
In German with English Subtitles


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for the Home Video Market
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Region 1, NTSC Region 1, NTSC Region 1, NTSC
Episodes 1-2 Episodes 3-4 Episodes 1-4
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The Guido Brunetti Detective Series

Murder, Venice and relationships as intriguing and labyrinthine as the streets of the Lagoon City itself – this is Donna Leon's recipe for success. With her "Inspector Brunetti" crime novels, the Venice-based American author has won countless passionate fans all over the world. Translated into twenty languages, her novels always feature the engaging Inspector Guido Brunetti, a mild-mannered man with a razor-sharp wit, a keen mind and a touch of melancholy. Brunetti's harmonious family life with his wife and two children stands in sharp contrast to what he faces every day at work: the widespread corruption and criminal energy festering behind the otherworldly beauty of Venice's centuries-old walls.

The episode information below was obtained from the website of Bavaria Media, the distributor of world-wide licensing for the series.

Note:
Joachim Król & Barbara Auer play the roles of Guido & Paola in episodes 1-4
Uwe Kockisch & Julia Jäger play the roles of Guido & Paola in episodes 5-14


Episode 1)  Death and Judgement
(Vendetta
, filmed in 2000)

Venice's Inspector Brunetti must crack a murderous human-traffic ring run by the cream of Venetian society

First it was a high-society attorney, then a distinguished tax adviser – both murdered in the space of a few days. And on both bodies the police find notebooks containing phone numbers without names. They're normal murder cases for Venice's Inspector Brunetti, and, sadly, it's normal for him to encounter barely repressed indifference or relief among the mourners of these distinguished pillars of Venetian society. Although the attorney's wife refuses to help Brunetti in his investigations, her teenage daughter is more obliging. The girl, a schoolmate of Brunetti's own daughter Chiara, gives her the videocassette of a "snuff" film featuring the live rape and murder of a woman. Brunetti realizes that the attorney and tax adviser dealt in the traffic of young women from eastern Europe who were forced into prostitution and into these murderous film productions. When the attorney's partner is also found murdered, the trail leads to Signora Ceroni, who knew all three men – and who apparently knows a great deal more. Although she tries to escape, she ultimately confesses that she helped bring the young women to Venice, but had nothing to do with the snuff films. They, precisely, are what drove her to kill the men. There are many more high-ranking personalities involved, she says, but before she can be properly interrogated at police headquarters, she hangs herself in her cell – with the aid of several dark-suited men, no doubt pillars of society themselves…


Episode 2)  The Anonymous Venetian
(Venezianische Scharade
, filmed in 2000)

Inspector Brunetti uncovers highly immoral goings-on in one of Venice's most eminent strongholds of morality

It's a safe bet to claim that dead bodies of middle-aged men wearing red lingerie and red high-heeled shoes are rare even in the morbidly kinky carnival-mad city of Venice. When it turns out that the body happens to be that of a respected and influential bank director, Inspector Brunetti smells a blackmail-and-double-life sex crime. As he gropes for clues in the world of transvestites and male prostitutes, Brunetti discovers just how many respectable citizens actually lead double lives... Like lawyer Santomauro, head of the "League for Morality," a non-profit organization that administers subsidized housing for the Church. When it emerges that the murder victim was responsible for all of the League's bank transactions, Brunetti suspects that Santomauro was involved in dealings that had nothing to do with morality. A planned meeting with an informer turns out to be a trap in which one of Brunetti's colleagues is killed. Even though the informer himself is found murdered shortly thereafter, Brunetti manages to uncover the truth about Santomauro: for years, the lawyer had been demanding high rents for the apartments and transferring the money to his own account, embezzling millions. The bank director had threatened to expose him. Santomauro hoped to mislead the police by disguising the body – but he forgot that shoe salesmen who sell a man red, size-42 high-heeled shoes have a good memory…


Episode 3)  A Noble Radiance
(Nobiltà
, filmed in 2001)

Brunetti's search for justice pits him against a powerful Venetian family that places itself above the law The man whose skeleton is found in a field outside of Venice spoke his last words two years ago; the ring on his finger, however, continues to speak: it bears the arms of the Lorenzonis, one of the wealthiest families in Venice. The body is that of Count Lorenzoni's son Roberto – and the young man was clearly murdered. Inspector Brunetti runs into a wall of icy disdain as he digs into the family's recent past. The main suspect is Roberto's cousin Maurizio, who succeeded Roberto in the family empire. But when Count Lorenzoni, the family patriarch, "accidentally" shoots and kills Maurizio, the case is closed. Unless Roberto's mother emerges from the shadows into which she has retreated since her son's death and tells Brunetti what she saw – and what kind of sinister dealings her husband had forced upon Roberto…


Episode 4)  Fatal Remedies
(In Sachen Signora Brunetti,
filmed in 2001)

In nighttime Venice, a woman shatters the window of a travel agency. When the police arrive, she puts up no resistance, for they are her husband’s colleagues: the woman is Paola Brunetti, Inspector Brunetti’s wife. She is convinced that the agency caters to
paedophiles seeking sex in poor Asian and African countries. Adding fuel to the fire, Paola very publicly confronts the owner of the agency, Mitri, with pictures of abused children. A few days later, Mitri is found murdered next to an anonymous letter announcing further deaths among pederasts. Stricken with grieve and pain, Paola feels partly responsible for his death. During his investigations, however, Brunetti discovers that Mitri’s real business was a pharmaceutical company he ran with his wife and her brother. Trips were indeed made to Third World countries – but for a very different, if not less sinister – purpose.


Episode 5)  Death at La Fenice
(Venezianisches Finale
, filmed in 2003)

After the cyanide-poisoning death of a famed conductor, Brunetti probes into the maestro's past to uncover a shocking picture of immorality and ruthlessness – as well as a legion of bitter enemies…

Under the baton of celebrated German conductor Helmut Wellauer, Verdi's La Traviata is mesmerizing the audience at Venice's La Fenice opera house. But when Wellauer doesn't return to the podium after the second act, a stagehand checks on him – and finds him dead in his dressing room. Inspector Brunetti is called in and immediately suspects cyanide poisoning. Finding a suspect proves to be no problem, since Wellauer was hated by all: from the lesbian diva to the scorned tenor and to countless others oppressed by the power-hungry maestro. Only his much younger wife seems to have no motive. Until Brunetti follows a completely unrelated lead to a trio of singing sisters from yesteryear – one now poverty-stricken, the other dead, the third missing. As the maestro's sordid past emerges, Brunetti becomes convinced that the young widow is guilty – yet hopes that somehow she isn't…


Episode 6)  Friends in High Places
(Feine Freunde
, filmed in 2003)

Suspecting that a municipal clerk's "accidental" death was really a murder, Brunetti finds out that the clerk's boss is dealing in illegally acquired apartments that are sold to friends in high places.

Signor Rossi seemed very nervous when he begged Commissario Brunetti to meet him. But when the clerk from Venice's land registry office falls to his death from a building instead, Brunetti has a strange feeling that this was no accident. His investigations lead him to the allpowerful registry office and its sweet-talking boss, da Carlo. He and his assistant Signora Gasperi can't imagine Rossi being involved in foul play; yet their tone is suspiciously cautious. Brunetti discovers that da Carlo's office has been finding many irregularities in the building permits of Venetian flats. To pay the high fines, many people are driven into ruin and forced to hand over their apartments to money lenders who just happen to be friends of da Carlo. Rossi apparently wanted to unmask his boss. But da Carlo has an alibi: Signora Gasperi swears he was with her all night. Consumed by love, she will go to any lengths to protect da Carlo – possibly including murder…


Episode 7)  Quietly In Their Sleep
(Sanft entschlafen
, filmed in 2004)

Mysterious deaths in a Venice retirement home are brought to Inspector Brunetti's attention by a young nun who is then nearly killed herself. Brunetti's investigations turn up some unsettling connections to a secret church organization and to one of its charismatic members, the home's resident confessor...

The residents of Venice's exclusive church-run retirement home St. Leonardo are mostly quite fit. So when five residents die suddenly within a brief amount of time, Sister Immaculata feels that they may not have passed away quietly in their sleep. After confiding in her Mother Superior and her confessor Father Pio, young Immaculata seeks out Inspector Brunetti – and promptly becomes the victim of an attempted murder. Having fallen into a coma, she is watched around the clock by Brunetti and his men. Though the inspector learns that the departed did not leave their money to the Church, he finds some unsettling connections to an ultra-secret organization, the Opera Pia. Dedicated to increasing the Church's power in today's godless world, the society needs great sums of money and gifted individuals able to gather such sums. One of its charismatic members is Father Pio, who has a strong influence on a fanatically religious young woman who has killed for him before – and is about to finish the job she began with Sister Immaculata...


Episode 8)  Acqua Alta
(Acqua Alta
, filmed in 2003)

First a museum director is murdered, then an antiques dealer. When a specialist in Chinese art is then brutally beaten, she fears she may be the next on the list. Inspector Brunetti must find out if someone is killing for art in Venice.

"You don't want to meet with Semenzato tomorrow." With this warning, two men proceed to beat American archaeologist Brett Lynch to within an inch of her life in a dark Venetian alley. Brett would hardly have been able to meet the museum director Semenzato anyway, since he is found brutally murdered shortly thereafter. Braving the "acqua alta," Venice's notorious high waters, Inspector Brunetti sets out to unravel a tale of greed and boundless passion. Brett, an expert in Chinese art, noticed that two priceless vases on loan from China had been exchanged: the ones at the museum are fakes. Semenzato was apparently behind the switch, as well as a corrupt antique dealer wh also meets his death prematurely. When Brett then disappears, Brunetti has a hunch where she might be: at the palace of the passionate art lover LaCapra, whose brutal son seems willing to do anything to satisfy his father's hunger for art…


Episode 9)  Doctored Evidence
(Beweise, daß es böse ist
, filmed in 2005)

The murder of a mean-spirited old woman seems to be an openand-shut case when the woman's cleaning lady flees the scene of the crime and is fatally injured. Inspector Brunetti believes the cleaning lady was innocent and discovers that the old woman had a much deadlier enemy in a high place.

Signora Battestini is dead, and to everyone who knew her, it wasn't a moment too soon. Since her alleged murderess – the cleaning lady – was fatally injured while fleeing from the police, the case is immediately closed. Inspector Brunetti isn't satisfied, however, and continues to investigate, whereupon he encounters the victim's young niece. She's hoping to inherit her aunt's fortune, but the victim's lawyer has just embezzled it... The fact that the old woman actually had so much money mystifies Brunetti, particularly since her only son, who died five years earlier, was only a minor official in Venice's school administration. It's only after Brunetti chats with Dr. Trotti, the director of the school system, that he feels something is amiss here... His perseverance is rewarded when he discovers a letter in Signora Battestini's apartment, in which it emerges that Trotti never acquired the doctorate with which he adorns himself – and which is a prerequisite for his upcoming promotion to a top ministerial post in Rome...


Episode 10)  Uniform Justice
(Verschwiegene Kanäle
, filmed in 2005)

At an elite military academy in Venice, a young cadet is found hanged, a presumed suicide. Inspector Brunetti has his doubts, however, and what begins as a suicide soon works its way into an ugly murder with consequences that extend far beyond the walls of the academy.

What really wakes up Cadet Belcredi early one morning at Venice's exclusive San Martino Military Academy is not the cold water he dribbles onto his face, but a body: that of his roommate Ernesto, hanging lifelessly in the showers. Inspector Brunetti is deeply affected by the death of the boy and has trouble believing such a bright and vigorous young man could take his own life. His doubts are supported by his growing realization that in this hothouse of military discipline, violence and murder are just a step away from the distorted values of duty and honor drilled into the cadets... Brunetti traces a sinister trail that leads to the dead boy's father, Moro, a politician who once threatened to expose a military procurement scandal. The men involved in the scandal have never forgiven Moro. One of them is the head of the Military Academy. Another is the corrupt arms manufacturer Filippi, whose son shared a room with young Moro, along with Belcredi and another young man who also dies under mysterious circumstances...


Episode 11)  Death In A Strange Country
(Endstation Venedig
, filmed in 2005)

The body of a young man found floating in a Venetian canal has been stripped of all valuables - save for a very visible packet of cocaine. When the man is identified as a health inspector at the U.S. military base in nearby Vicenza, Inspector Brunetti knows that this will be a tough case to crack. Surprisingly, the military is cooperative. In the victim's apartment, "thoroughly checked" by the U.S. police, Brunetti finds a large bag of cocaine. Yet Brunetti senses that the military is trying to lead him astray. And, worried about the crime's political reverberations, his own boss is all too eager to dismiss the case as a drug-related murder. He sets Brunetti on the trail of a thief who stole some priceless paintings from the home of the highly influential Signor Viscardis, whose business empire is as murky as Venice's canals. Risking his life, Brunetti plunges into Viscardis' fetid biography, uncovering disquieting connections between Viscardis, a sick child, the murder victim, the illegal disposal of U.S. toxic waste, and Brunetti's own father-in-law...


Episode 12)  A Sea of Troubles
(Das Gesetz der Lagune
, filmed in 2004)

Brunetti faces a wall of silence after a double murder is committed in a remote community on Venice's lagoon. Using her family contacts to the town, Brunetti's secretary goes undercover, putting herself into serious danger…

Venice's lagoon is dotted with towns that are used to doing things their own way, without interference from the State, let alone the police. So when the murder of two "vongolari,"or clam fishermen, off the island of Pellestrina draws Inspector Brunetti into the island's tight-knit community, the villagers close ranks to keep their secrets from him. Secrets that range from who sleeps with whom to who is defrauding the State through illegal fishing. By chance, Brunetti's secretary Elettra has an aunt in Pellestrina whom she visits every year. Eager for a chance to do some investigative work of her own, Elettra goes undercover, only reluctantly supported by Brunetti. When a local woman who talked to Brunetti is soon found murdered, the Inspector begins to fear for Elettra's life. Especially after she falls in love with a young fisherman who turns out to be the nephew of the main suspect…


Episode 13)  Willful Behavior
(Die dunkle Stunde der Serenissima
, filmed in 2007)

Commissario Brunetti simply cannot imagine why young Claudia Leonardo was murdered. There was no sexual motive, nor was Claudia wealthy. Only at the death of her grandmother, Signora Jacobs, would Claudia have inherited a sizable fortune. But the elderly lady still clings to life with an iron will. Keeping Signora Jacobs alive is the fierce determination to have her husband rehabilitated for crimes she claims he did not commit: the theft of valuable paintings in the final years of Mussolini's Fascist rule - paintings that were said to have been destroyed. When the director of a right-wing museum comes up with a document proving that the paintings were not stolen, Signora Jacobs is so happy that she bequeaths a third of her fortune to the museum. Claudia, however, had found the paintings and had begun to sell them, secretly, one by one, in a belated effort to right the wrongs perpetrated by her grandfather. Something the ambitious museum director is intent on preventing...


Episode 14)  Blood From A Stone
(Blutige Steine
, filmed in 2007)

Fake Prada sunglasses, fake Louis Vuitton bags - reason enough for murder? Venice's Commissario Brunetti knows that his colleagues cannot stem the flow of fakes and their mostly African peddlers in Venice. Yet when one young African is literally executed in broad daylight, Brunetti can hardly believe that the Mafia or even the local tradesmen are sending out killer commandos against poor illegals. He gets an important tip from an Angolan nurse, whose brother was also shot and is still being sought by an unknown killer. Unfortunately, the killer finds him first... When Brunetti discovers dozens of raw diamonds among the young man's possessions, he realizes that he's stumbled onto something big. Apparently so big that the Italian Ministry of the Interior orders the investigations to be dropped - just as Brunetti finds traces linking the murders to the Ministry itself...


Episode 15)  Through A Glass Darkly
(Wie durch ein dunkles Glas
, filmed in 2007)

The Venetian island of Murano is known for its artisans who specialize in the traditional, age-old craft of glassmaking. When the owner of a glass factory is found murdered, Inspector Brunetti detects an unsavory connection between the colorful, filigree glass products and some very toxic poisons, including arsenic. One employee, Tassini, had long been trying to draw the attention of the authorities to the dangers of the chemicals used in glassmaking - chemicals that are forbidden, but which the factory owner was still using. Though Tassini becomes the prime suspect, he is also found murdered shortly after trying to blackmail the owner's daughter Assunta. It seems that he had solid evidence that arsenic and other toxic substances are being flushed directly into the lagoon. Is Assunta herself behind the murders? The young woman seems anything but cold-blooded, and she gladly accepts the comfort and support of the Green Party politician Fasano, who owns the glassworks adjoining her own factory. While checking out Fasano's property, Brunetti's partner steps in an oozing puddle of slime that turns out to contain arsenic - and that clearly comes from Fasano's factory…


Episode 16)  Suffer the Little Children
(Lasset die Kinder zu mir kommen
, filmed in 2010)

Like many illegal aliens in Italy, Rozafa Krasnic lives in permanent fear of being caught and sent back to her native Albania. After the birth of her child, she is told that the baby has died - and that she should ask no further questions. Fourteen months later, Rozafa is found dead, apparently murdered. One of the last people she contacted was the wealthy pediatrician Dr. Pedrolli. He and his wife Bianca adopted Rozafa's child through an agency, allegedly unaware of the child's origins. For Inspector Brunetti's colleague Marvilli, the case is clear: Rozafa wanted her child back, and Pedrolli killed her. Acting upon his conviction, Marvilli breaks into the doctor's home one night with two police colleagues and brutally beats him up. Repelled by Marvilli's brutality, Brunetti pursues his own investigations and comes across a trail of contradictory clues. Some point to Rozafa's cousin, a petty criminal who suddenly seems to have lots of money; others point to the hospital where Rozafa gave birth; a morally righteous pharmacist who snoops into the private lives of his customers; a right-wing politician who's a noted fixture in Venetian high society; and his daughter Bianca, Pedrolli's wife and the adoptive mother of Rozafa's baby boy - an enigmatic beauty who's keeping a very dark secret from her father and her husband…


Episode 17)  The Girl of His Dreams
(Das Mädchen seiner Träume
, filmed in 2010)

Two deaths within one week weigh heavily on Commissario Brunetti: that of his dearly beloved mother, and that of a 10-year-old Roma girl found floating in a Venetian canal. Responding to the call of duty, Brunetti pays his last respects to his mother before concentrating fully on the case at hand: did the girl fall into the canal by accident or was she pushed? Perhaps her little brother knows more. But Brunetti's attempts to speak with the Roma community in their encampment are futile; the Roma are so used to the police pinning felonies on them that they can't imagine an inspector who actually wants to help them. It appears that the girl had broken into a luxurious palazzo and was caught stealing jewels and other valuables. Could it be that someone in the house grabbed her and threw her into the canal? Several prominent suspects begin to emerge. But more chilling is another discovery that Brunetti makes: the girl and her little brother were being pressured by someone to give him a share of the stolen goods. The identity of this person makes it all too clear to Brunetti why the Roma were so reluctant to talk to him...


Episode 18)  Looks Are Deceiving (based on the novel-About Face)
(Schöner Schein
, filmed in 2010)

Venetian Inspector Brunetti usually loathes formal dinners with his blue-blood father-in-law, Count Falier. But this time, he meets Franca Cataldo, a fascinating woman whose face seems stuck in place after one too many facelifts. Brunetti is impressed by her literary acumen, however, and is eager to keep debating Dante and Ovid with her, to the distress of his wife Paola. Unfortunately, the Commissario has a murder to look after, however: Trucking entrepreneur Ranzato, who was involved in shady garbage-disposal deals with Franca's husband Maurizio, is found murdered. Brunetti is shocked to discover his father-in-law is somehow involved as well, with all clues pointing to the Mafioso Antonio Barbaro, ostensibly a greengrocer - who's having an affair with Franca Cataldo! Brunetti suspects he's blackmailing her, and proposes she turn state's witness against her lover. But Brunetti doesn't realize he's already in too deep in this fishy case, which is about much more that just a pile of garbage…